The Australian Biosecurity Awards recognise individuals, groups and organisations in industry and government that show a commitment to working collaboratively with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to support and promote Australia's biosecurity and the systems that uphold it.
Deputy Secretary, Lyn O’Connell presented the awards at the ABARES Outlook Conference dinner on Tuesday 6 March 2018.
David Banks Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award
This award recognises an individual that has made an outstanding contribution to biosecurity integrity in Australia over a number of years. The Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award is dedicated in memory of Dr David Banks.
Tony Beaver is one of the true pioneers of the ‘shared responsibility’ approach to biosecurity. As director of the Food and Beverage Importers Association he has served as an industry leader for food and beverage importation since the 1990s and has made a significant contribution to biosecurity regulation over many years.
Australian Biosecurity Award – Industry
This award recognises individuals, groups or organisations in industry that have demonstrated a significant contribution to maintaining Australia’s biosecurity integrity.
First Point Animal Services
Animal transfer company First Point Animal Services opened a unique, indoor facility for the safe transfer of animals at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. The world-class facility offers better animal welfare, improves working conditions for staff and reduces biosecurity risks.
Fifty-year sheep farming veteran Geoff Power is a tireless advocate for livestock producers and the issues they face, particularly in the area of biosecurity. He is extremely passionate about the industry and approaches his work with clarity, wisdom and compassion.
Nursery & Garden Industry Australia
Biosecurity pioneer John McDonald led the creation of a national on-farm biosecurity program for the nursery industry, known as BioSecure HACCP. BioSecure HACCP is likely to be regarded as a model industry-led biosecurity program in the years ahead.
Wildlife Health Australia
Australian bats are less likely to suffer from a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome thanks to the ongoing efforts by Wildlife Health Australia’s Keren Cox-Witton in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Tireless work has been undertaken to raise awareness about this exotic disease, prevent its introduction into Australia and prepare for an incursion of the disease.
Husqvarna Australia Pty Ltd, Cahill Transport Australia and Panalpina World Transport Pty Ltd
Husqvarna Australia, Cahill Transport Australia and Panalpina World Transport joined forces to help prevent red imported fire ants and other pests in shipments of lawn mowers from becoming established. The three companies worked to identify the source of the invasive species and stop further consignments of affected products.
Australian Biosecurity Award – Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year
This award recognises Australian primary producers, including individuals and organisations that have developed outstanding on-farm biosecurity practices.
Mackay Farming Group
Australia’s largest banana farm, Bolinda Estate, was placed under quarantine in July 2017 after a positive test result for the fungal disease TR4. Mackay Farming Group’s commitment to biosecurity and rigorous existing biosecurity measures meant Bolinda Estate’s packing shed stopped for only two hours after the issue of the quarantine notice—a feat previously considered impossible by many in the industry.
Rum Jungle Organics
After an outbreak of banana freckle devastated the farm’s crops, the biosecurity measures put in place by Rum Jungle Organics are the most comprehensive in the region.
Owners Alan Petersen and Julie-Ann Murphy have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure the Northern Territory banana farm is as safe as possible from pests and diseases, and their detailed biosecurity plan sets the standard for all farming proprieties.
Australian Biosecurity Award – Government
This award recognises individuals, groups or organisations within government that have demonstrated a significant contribution to maintaining Australia’s biosecurity integrity.
Grains Farm Biosecurity Program
The Grains Farm Biosecurity Program is celebrating 10 years of success raising awareness of biosecurity among grain growers and helping the industry respond to serious pest incursions. The program’s grain biosecurity officers have attended more than 1,000 events and made a significant ongoing contribution to Australia’s biosecurity integrity.
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Lois Ransom has dedicated more than three decades to strengthening Australia’s plant biosecurity system. Her leadership and influence has been felt around the country and internationally, with roles including Australia’s chief plant protection officer, agricultural counsellor and chair of the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention.
Details of this year’s award recipients are outlined in the
2018 ABA booklet.